Public Health Manager: Job Description and Requirements

Sep 16, 2019

Working as a public health manager requires significant formal education. Learn about the degrees, job duties, and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Public health managers must hold a master's degree in a related field, such as public health or healthcare management. Often an aspiring public health manager is already a healthcare professional who is looking to transition into an administrative role.

Essential Information

The role of a public health manager is to oversee the non-clinical operations of a public health organization, such as a hospital, health department, or medical facility. Alternative names for a public health manager may include healthcare administrator or health services manager. Aspiring public health managers are required to obtain at least a master's degree in a related field, but a bachelor's degree may be acceptable for entry-level positions at smaller facilities.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in public health science; master's degree in healthcare management or a similar field; in some cases, a post-baccalaureate certificate in public health may be sufficient; professional experience in healthcare is valued by employers
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 18% for all medical and health services managers*
Median Salary (2018) $99,730 for all medical and health services managers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public Health Manager Job Description

In general, public health managers are in charge of maintaining healthcare standards, managing finances, coordinating treatment programs, and providing an efficient healthcare operation. Additionally, managers are in charge of human resources within a healthcare system, as well as marketing new treatments and healthcare policies to the public. Examples of public health services include providing influenza shots, distributing condoms, treating smallpox, and educating the public on HIV and AIDS diseases and treatment options.

Public Health Manager Education Requirements

Public health managers are often existing healthcare professionals who desire to obtain an administrative position. Previous healthcare experience is preferred by many graduate degree programs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, positions require the aspirant to hold at least a master's degree, due to the level of management experience needed. Aspiring public health managers can enroll in a Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Healthcare Management, or graduate-level Public Health Management Certificate program.

Coursework topics in these programs may include management principles, public health ethics and methodology, leadership skills, and budgeting. Offered online as well as on campus, master's degree programs can generally be completed in two years or less. Certificate programs are significantly shorter and are only around 10-15 credit hours in length.

Another route of entering the field of public health and eventually becoming a public health manager is to enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Public Health program. This degree program prepares students to educate the public on healthcare procedures and related public health risks.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The BLS categorizes public health managers as one type of medical and health services managers and projected that employment of such workers would grow much faster than the average through 2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $182,600 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $58,680 or less per year.

According to the BLS, most public health managers work in a hospital, although some may be employed at a physician's office or nursing facility. Public health managers are typically charged with upholding healthcare standards, managing finances, and coordinating various treatment programs.

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